Feature

Snipers kill Shiites

The week's news at a glance.

Baghdad

Despite massive security, gunmen picked off at least 20 Shiite pilgrims and wounded 300 in Baghdad this week, during an annual religious pilgrimage. The anniversary of the 12-century death of the seventh imam is a major Shiite holiday, drawing hundreds of thousands of the faithful to the Baghdad mosque where his body lies. During the march last year, a stampede sparked by rumors of a bomb killed nearly 1,000 people. This year, U.S. and Iraqi forces set up four layers of security for crowd control and protection. Interior Ministry groups guarded the mosque, police established perimeter checkpoints, Iraqi troops roamed the streets, and U.S. helicopters watched from the air. Still, snipers hid on rooftops in Sunni neighborhoods and shot the pilgrims as they walked by.

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